By Joshua Farnsworth

In this video and article I’ll teach you how I install these vintage-style hasps, so I can put a padlock on a wooden chest or box.

A Brass Padlock On A Hasp On A Wooden Dovetail Chest Box

This is part 3/3 of a series on hardware for a chest or box. In the first video and article I showed how to use toilet bowl cleaner to turn inexpensive, zinc-coated hinges, hasps, and screws from a hardware store, into lovely historical hardware. You can click here to watch & read part 1.

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

In the next video I showed my simple and quick method for install butt hinges on the dovetail chests that I built. You can click here to watch & read part 2.

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Now I want to show you how I install these hasps so you can lock your chest or box.

Woodworker Using A Screw Driver To Drive Slotted Wood Screws Into Historical Hasp Hardware Installed On A Dovetail Chest

Hasps are hardware that allows you to add a padlock to a chest like these:

A Brass Padlock On A Hasp On A Wooden Dovetail Chest Box

My kids were begging me for years to make them wooden chests so they could keep their siblings from taking their special keepsakes and their money.

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

So this past Christmas I finally made the time to build these chests.

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

And of course, I wanted to honor their request for a security feature.

A Woodworker Locking A Brass Padlock On A Hasp On A Wooden Dovetail Chest Box

Actually, I was just tired of hearing them whine about getting their stuff stolen. So let’s jump into my tutorial for adding these hasps to a dovetail chest.

A Brass Padlock On A Hasp On A Wooden Dovetail Chest Box

Step 1: Layout the Hasp Recess on the Chest

The first step is to determine where you want to add the hasp. I’m kind of fond of centering it on the chest, so that’s what I’ve measured out.

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Once I’ve got it in place I use a marking knife to make a tick mark on each side of the hasp. For accuracy, I set the flat face of the knife against the hasp plate:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Then I set the marking knife back in the tick mark, and use a small combination square to extend the line across the edge of the board. Again, I’m using the flat face of the marking knife against the square for accuracy:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Next I use a chisel to deepen the lines:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

I set my marking gauge to the exact thickness of the hasp plate so it will be flush when it’s screwed down:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

I run the marking gauge along both sides of the board, from line to line. I’m careful to make sure I keep my marking gauge flat on the board’s edge:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Step 2: Cut the Hasp Recess

Next I use a chisel to pare out the waste close to the baseline:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

It’s safer to come from the back side to prevent too much blow out on the back:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Once I’m down close to the baseline I pull out my router plane, which I set to the final depth of the…hmmm…well, I’m actually not sure what this recess is called. It’s not quite a dado and it’s not quite a mortise. So I’ll just call it a “recess”.

A Woodworker Using A Veritas Router Plane To Cut A Recess For A Hasp On A Wooden Dovetail Chest Box

Anyway, I move the router plane back and forth until the recessed area is flat and clean. I use a chisel to clean up the messy bits.

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Isn’t that a nice looking recess? You can see that the hasp plate fits nicely.

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

This isn’t it’s final resting place of the hasp, so don’t get concerned that the third screw hole is hanging off the back side. I’m just checking the fit! The hasp will be screwed into the lid.

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Step 3: Layout the Hasp Position on the Lid

I remove the hasp and then I use the marking knife to transfer the walls of the recess onto the lid. Again, I use the flat face of the knife against the walls of the recess:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Now I have two small tick marks on the lid, which will aid me in aligning the hasp on the lid. With the lid flipped back I use a pencil to mark tick marks, so I can create the boundaries of where the hasp will be placed:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

This is how it will sit on the lid:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Then I use a combination square and a pencil to extend the lines from the points:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

This is how the layout lines look:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

I didn’t use a knife because I won’t be making a cut here. The hasp will sit flush on the board. I’ll also use the combination square to run the other guidelines to help me center the hasp:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Then I use a pencil to outline the screw holes onto the lid:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Next I carefully mark the center of each hole with my pencil:

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Step 4: Screw the Hasp Plate onto the Lid

Next I twist an awl back and forth into each center point to make it easier for me to start boring a hole with my drill bit:

Woodworker Using An Awl To Start A Hole Before Boring Screw Holes Into Historical Hasp Hardware Installed On A Dovetail Chest

I’m using an egg beater drill with a bit that’s a tad skinnier than the wood screws I’ll be using.

Woodworker Using A Egg Beater Drill To Bore Screw Holes Into Historical Hasp Hardware Installed On A Dovetail Chest

And you can see that I’m using painter’s tape as a depth gauge so I don’t bore a hole through the lid!

Woodworker Using A Egg Beater Drill To Bore Screw Holes Into Historical Hasp Hardware Installed On A Dovetail Chest

These inexpensive bits are fantastic and sharp, so they bore a clean hole really quickly. You can find a pack of them here.

Butt Hinges, Hasp, And Wood Screws

Now that I’ve got all the holes bored I’ll go ahead and add my historical-looking slotted wood screws that I stripped in the first video in this series.

Woodworker Using A Screw Driver To Drive Slotted Wood Screws Into Historical Hasp Hardware Installed On A Dovetail Chest

And I add some soft wax to each screw to make it easier to drive them in the wood. And notice that I don’t drive any of the screws all the way down until they’re all close to their final depth:

Woodworker Using A Screw Driver To Drive Slotted Wood Screws Into Historical Hasp Hardware Installed On A Dovetail Chest

This will allow me to keep the hasp aligned in case any of my screw holes aren’t perfectly centered. I just keep rotating from screw to screw, just like when you tighten tire lug nuts on your car.  And then I align the screw slots. This is called “clocking” or “timing” the screws. It’s really not necessary, but I feel like it gives a nice touch:

Historical Hasp Installation On A Dovetail Chest

Step 5: Layout Hasp Staple on the Chest

Now that the lid part is installed nicely, I move onto the other piece that accepts the hasp plate. I believe this part is called the “staple” or the “eyelet”. Whatever it’s called, it is simply the part that holds the padlock. I align and center the staple in place like this:

Historical Hasp Installation On A Dovetail Chest

Once I’m confident that it will clear the hinge part, I mark the top corners with a pencil (see above and below).

Historical Hasp Installation On A Dovetail Chest

Then I use a combination square to create square guidelines:

Historical Hasp Installation On A Dovetail Chest With A Combination Square

I’ll be handplaning, sanding, and painting this chest later, so I’m not worried about drawing such long lines. I also use the combination square to draw a perpendicular line to help me align the chest part. Now I can mark the center of the holes with a pencil:

Historical Hasp Installation On A Dovetail Chest

You can also mark the whole circle like the last time, but I’ve got a good view of the holes, so I can just mark the center. And here’s where the screws will go:

Historical Hasp Installation On A Dovetail Chest

Step 6: Screw the Hasp Staple onto the Chest

Just like before I use an awl to start my screw holes, as pictured below:

Woodworker Using An Awl To Start A Hole Before Boring Screw Holes Into Historical Hasp Hardware Installed On A Dovetail Chest

And then I again use my egg beater drill to bore the screw holes. And don’t forget the tape!

Woodworker Using A Egg Beater Drill To Bore Screw Holes Into Historical Hasp Hardware Installed On A Dovetail Chest

I drive the screws just like before:

Woodworker Using A Screw Driver To Drive Slotted Wood Screws Into Historical Hasp Hardware Installed On A Dovetail Chest

And now you can see a nice hasp:

A Brass Padlock On A Hasp On A Wooden Dovetail Chest Box

It’s all ready for a padlock to keep my kids’ treasures safe from their siblings!

Woodworker Installing A Hasp On A Historical Dovetail Chest

Conclusion

Hey, thanks for reading this article & watching my video! Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter below so you won’t miss my next article and video. If you have questions or want to share some of your own tips, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page. And make sure you scroll down to see our tool buying guides!

Workbenches, Workbench, Woodworking
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